Alimony’s Tax Consequences (Guest Blogger: Arlene Perry )


I haven’t the slightest idea where 2016 went. I blinked, it came roaring in and I blinked again and 2017 is here. Another tax year will be upon us. So it’s time to start sharing some tax info so that you’re prepared to stand up to greedy Uncle Sam.

This particular blog post will be geared more towards women than men only because the majority of alimony recipients in the United States just happen to be of the female gender.

There are over 400,000 people in the US receiving alimony. And only 3% are men. This is even though census figures show about 40% of women earn more money than their male counterparts.

Male female gender roles that are difficult to break or cross over, remain the main culprit for this lopsided alimony payment imbalance.

However, it doesn’t matter to Uncle Sam who gets the alimony. He will be standing by with his greedy little hand out.

If you think that you got your slime ball ex over a barrel because he or she was ordered to pay you some alimony, you might want to rethink that. To the person receiving the alimony, you will find out at year’s end, you are liable for taxes.

Yes, alimony receivers, that money is fully taxable and MUST be reported on your 1040 each year. Now to really make you frown; your lowdown ex, gets to deduct his or her payments to you, thus giving them a tax benefit.

Now, let’s get serious and talk about what constitutes taxable and deductible alimony payments:

Divorce agreements or court orders do not decide if alimony has a tax implication. Certain things MUST be in place in order for it to be taxable or deductible. Here they are:

Amounts paid under divorce or separate maintenance decrees or written separation agreements entered into between you and your spouse or former spouse are considered alimony for federal tax purposes if:

  • You and your spouse or former spouse do not file a joint return with each other
  • You pay in cash (including checks or money orders)
  • The payment is received by (or on behalf of) your spouse or former spouse
  • The divorce or separate maintenance decree or written separation agreement does not say the payment is not alimony
  • If legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, you and your former spouse are not members of the same household when you make the payment
  • You have no liability to make the payment (in cash or property) after the death of your spouse or former spouse, and
  • Your payment is not treated as child support or a property settlement

***You Do Not Have To Itemize (Sch A) To Get This Deduction, You Must Use A 1040 Form***

Now for the people receiving the alimony, you will have to claim the money received as income. Your ex will be putting your name and social security down on his or her 1040 when preparing their taxes. So just claim the money upfront to avoid receiving that nasty little letter from the IRS stating you owe additional taxes and interest along with penalties.



Arlene Perry, MBA is the owner of Arlene’s Unlimited Services; a full service tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll business. Having had the business since 1998,  she serves the Manhattan and Bronx areas of New York City.

Within this time, Ms. Perry has worked with a variety of small businesses in different industries. They include security and retail as well as the bookkeeping of non-profit organizations.

Arlene graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a Masters degree in Business from Monroe College in New Rochelle, New York.

Prior to returning to college, Ms. Perry worked for the City of New York as a Police Officer. While serving, she prepared the tax returns for many of her co-workers and kept the financial records of a non-profit youth group that she was a part of.

Presently, Ms. Perry is working for a great non-profit organization focusing on keeping our youth out of the prison system. She’s also creating a side Baking Business. She’s a proud member of Real Sisters Rising, M & M Projects and Administrator of a Bookkeepers and Food Groups on FaceBook.

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Author: TaxAssurances, LLC

Chex Balances is the blogsite of TaxAssurances, LLC, an independent financial services firm that provides expert advice and solutions in Accounting and Insurance. The site provides insightful and useful information around the reader's financial life. Information that helps them understand and navigate the financial details of everyday living.

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